FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The Fort Wayne City Council held it’s first meeting for the 2020 year with a new and historic group of council members.
It was a packed house in the room on the garden level of Citizens Square. Mayor Tom Henry addressed the new council at the beginning of the meeting. Following the Mayor’s presentation, the newly-elected council members elected Councilman Tom Didier for Council President for 2020 and Councilman Paul Ensley for Vice President of 2020.
“We’re going to keep the citizens of Fort Wayne informed and with a good understanding of what is going on in the city of Fort Wayne,” said 16-year Councilman Tom Didier. “So they know that their tax dollars are being well taken care of.”
Mayor Henry expressed that he is excited to work with the new council members and believes there will be great changes this upcoming term.
“I think it’s important that we get to know each other,” said Mayor Tom Henry. “Particularly this year when we have two new council members.”
The two newcomers include At-large Councilwoman Michelle Chambers, a business woman and Fort Wayne’s first African-American city clerk back in 2016. Chambers is one of the first African-American women to serve on Fort Wayne’s City Council.
“I’m very excited, I am looking forward to getting the work done,” smiled Chambers. “I’m looking forward to rolling up our sleeves and getting busy and getting things handled in this city.”
Councilwoman Sharron Tucker is the other African-American woman to first serve on Fort Wayne’s City Council, and represents district 6 .
“The community has voted for a more balanced committee,” said Tucker. “I want to make sure that we remember that, that we represent the community as a whole.”
Tucker is no stranger to politics, as she served on Allen County Council. According to Tucker, she plans to push for economic development in her district, along with working with Mayor Henry to reduce the infant mortality rate in the 46806 and 46816 zip codes.
Democrats Glynn Hines and Michelle Chambers won the hotly contested at-large seats in a six-way race which bumped two Republicans from the table. Sharon Tucker ran unopposed in the 6th district making this council the first in Fort Wayne’s history with three African American members, two of them women.
The council now sits at a near-even split between the two major parties. The previous council was made up of seven Republicans and two Democrats, while the balance is now five to four.
The council’s next meeting will be January 21, 2020.